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Blog: How to select the right equipment in your wash bay

September 11th, 2017

Wash Bays or Wash Down Facilities (include, but are not limited to):

  • Earthmoving, heavy vehicle, harvesting and other washing down equipment facilities
  • Mining, oil & gas, construction, rail, transportation and shipping applications
  • Commercial car/truck facilities
  • Car washes

The wastewater from the wash bay will contain different contaminants depending on the type of equipment that is being washed down, and where the equipment is being used. For example for applications where you are expecting primarily suspended solids such as weed seed, earthmoving, heavy vehicle and harvesting wash down a Gravity Clarification system would be suitable. Gravity Clarification (GC) is the process of clarifying water by using a flocculent to coagulate the suspended solids into heavier particles which then settle to the bottom of a tank or clarifier. Different contaminants can have different settling times so Gravity Clarification Systems are designed to suit specific flow rates and factor in parameters such as types of contaminants, volume and surface area. However in applications where you would anticipate elevated levels of oil and grease, different technologies need to be considered. There are two different types of treatment process for oily water, one is a mechanical separation technology called an oil water separator and one is a physical/chemical separation technology called dissolved air flotation. An Oil Water Separator (OWS), is used when you have predominantly free floating hydrocarbons present in the water. The oil will rise to the surface and is skimmed off the top dropping into a waste oil reservoir, whilst the treated water passes under a weir and into the sewer. The most common applications for OWS are mechanic workshops and car wash bays. Dissolved Air Flotation (DAF), is used when you have emulsified oil and grease in the water that will not float to the surface by itself. Instead we dose a flocculent and a polymer to bind the oil, grease and suspended solids together. A pressurised stream of air-saturated water is mixed with the flocculated water and with the release of pressure a cloud of very fine air bubbles carries the suspended solids and lighter liquids to the tank surface. The sludge on the surface of the DAF is scraped into a sludge hopper by a mechanical scraper. This technology is typically used in rail, truck, oil and gas and mining maintenance facilities. If the treated waste is going to drain/trade waste then further treatment might not be required. Depending on where the treated water is being recycled, a further filtration process and disinfection (either UV or chlorine dosing) will be necessary. What can MAK Water do? MAK Water has over 25 years’ of experience in the design, manufacture and maintenance of water treatment plants and can supply a system exactly tailored to your needs. MAK Water works collaboratively with each client to review site specific requirements and define the best treatment process in order to ensure regulations are met. Where practical we will take a sample of the water that needs treatment and undertake bench tests to verify that it contains the expected contaminants and then recommend a suitable treatment process. Whatever the requirement is, we have a solution ready to implement. MAK Water designs and manufactures a wide range of technologies typically used for wash bay applications, including:

All of these systems can be designed to treat the water for disposal or for recycling. View our project experience here. Understanding the nature of your raw water is imperative in order to come up with a fit for purpose solution. MAK Water has an array of different treatment technologies to suit your needs. For Smart Water Solutions, contact MAK Water on 1300 669 032 to discuss the most appropriate water treatment solution for your business.

Jon Keenan-Smith, MAK Water Technical Sales and Branch Manager

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